Fluoride needs to be given to infants/children thirty minutes before eating or drinking any products containing calcium such as milk products or cereals. Calcium interferes with the proper absorption of fluoride by binding with the calcium making it useless. You do not want to waste your time giving fluoride to your child if it is not going to work properly. Be sure to check food labels to see if it contains calcium.
Thirty minutes is plenty of time for fluoride to be absorbed on an empty stomach. Give the drops to your child while they are sleeping and make sure you allow 30 minutes before they eat or drink anything. Fluoride helps dramatically during the formation of the permanent teeth to make the enamel stronger and less prone to cavities. This can translate into fewer trips to the dentist for filling cavities.
It is important to follow the instructions on the label and not give more drops then prescribed because your child could develop white marks on the enamel. If you notice white spots developing on your child's tooth enamel, notify Dr. Churchill right away. Fluoride drops are not given past age 12 when the primary teeth have been replaced with the permanent teeth.
Teens and adults can use over the counter fluoride rinses. Brush/floss and take fluoride in mouth, swish and spit in sink. Do not eat or drink anything else before bed. Do not swallow the fluoride!